You can Shop till you Drop at London’s Department Stores
London’s department stores are household names in the U.K. as well as being famous the world over. Each of the large London shops has its particular branding and appeal and regular shoppers know to make a bee-line to certain stores for specific purchases. Just walk along Oxford Street, London’s premier shopping street, and you’ll find Selfridges, Marks and Spencers, John Lewis and Debenhams, all within easy reach of each other.
Harrods is a name that most shoppers are familiar with. This London icon is a world-class store and has become a tourist attraction as well – 15 million visitors a year is the kind of number that most retailers would drool over.
With over 300 departments on seven floors you can spend a lot of time and do a lot of damage to your credit card here. Most travellers are happy to come away with a Harrods shopping bag, souvenir mug or teddy bear to remind themselves of their Harrods visit.
87-135 Brompton Road
London, SW1X 7XL
Harvey Nichols is where Edina and Patsy regularly stumble into when they feel the urge to indulge in some retail therapy. If you’ve watched the television series Absolutely Fabulous you’ll most certainly know about Harvey Nics. This store has an impressive range of designers from around the world.
There are a total of eight floors with names like Dolce & Gabanna, John Galliano, Space NK, Burberry and Jimmy Choo being just some of the labels found here. If you’re looking for fine clothes, shoes, accessories, cosmetics and budget’s not a problem, you’ll love Harvey Nichols. On the fifth floor you’ll find food and restaurants.
109 – 125 Knightsbridge
Selfridges is a one-stop department store! If you’re after bags, shoes, cosmetics, soft furnishings, books, a foodhall, cafés or some beauty pampering, you’re sure to find it here! There’s an extensive designer clothing section catering for men, women and children, and the international designer brands department includes Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabanna and Alexander McQueen amongst other fashion leaders.
Selfridges & Co.
400 Oxford Street
W1A 1AB 0800 123 400
Liberty has long been regarded as a traditional store but when you venture inside you’ll see a host of cutting-edge ranges. The 1960s brought along a passion for fashion and all departments in Liberty now have a collection of both contemporary and traditional designs Innovative womenswear and menswear labels include Vivienne Westwood, Chloé, Martine Sitbon and Dries Van Noten. Extensive accessories, bridal wear and speciality food departments plus an impressive beauty hall are just some of the areas to be discovered.
Great Marlborough Street
London W1B 5AH
John Lewis is a well-established chain of department stores which combines high quality with keen pricing. John Lewis in Oxford Street has seven floors with nearly half a million products from buttons to beds, cushions to cufflinks. A number of services are on offer, so you can benefit from free advice on furniture, fashion and nursery items, and much more.
Oxford Street (corner of Oxford and Holles Streets)
London W1A 1EX
Marks and Spencers
Famous in the UK and overseas for providing the basic fashion essentials for any wardrobe i.e cotton t-shirts, jumpers and underwear. Marks and Spencers have over 560 stores located throughout the UK, of which the London Marble Arch store is the largest. In addition, the company has 150 stores worldwide, including over 130 franchise businesses, operating in 30 countries. M&S (as the locals call it) also has a designer autograph range if you are looking for something special. The new ‘Per Una’ range has given womenswear in particular a more boutiquey feel with great retro appeal.
Marks and Spencers
458 Oxford Street
London, W1C 1AP
House of Fraser
House of Fraser offers the younger audience high street names such as Miss Sixty and Warehouse, whilst offering the more traditional customers familiar brands such as Austin Reid and Crombie. The House of Fraser offers a huge variety of brands and its stores offer luxurious items at affordable prices. It also has a range of homeware products to choose from. You can find the House of Fraser in 62 locations across the UK and Ireland.
House of Fraser
318 Oxford Street
Debenhams is a popular department store which stocks affordable ranges from a number of talented British designers such as Jasper Conran, Ben de Lisi, Frost French and Julien Macdonald. There is a large shoe department, extensive lingerie section and a cosmetics hall with all the top beauty brands represented. Debenhams has 153 stores across the UK and Ireland and a fully transactional online shopping site.
334-348 Oxford Street,
Remember, visitors who live outside the EU can claim back VAT that they pay on most of their purchases so remember to check with your store before making your payment.Your Turn: Do you have any advice you would like to share? What tips would you like to add? Please comment below.